Speed Networking Connects SJMC Students with Professionals

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Monday, October 21, 2019

For 19 consecutive semesters, SJMC Internship and Placement Coordinator Paul Jensen has brought students and media professionals together for Speed Networking. The event allows for students to engage with professionals and ask them questions about their jobs, potential internship and job opportunities, and collect advice. 

“It was the idea to have students meet professionals in an environment like this,” Jensen said. “It started as a tiny little thing in the rotunda. When we made students the champion, it took off.” 

Speed Networking is held twice a year, once during the fall semester and again in the spring. Barstools are set out along the third-floor hallways and students rotate conversing with professionals every three minutes. The conversations may be brief, but they can make a lasting impact.  

“For me, more than trying to secure a job or internship, it’s the advice they give. They give incredible advice about building your brand and where to take your career,” said Molly Allen, a student participating in the event. “It’s definitely helpful to get to know what jobs are available but more so advice from professionals about how they got there.”

Speed Networking UI Journalism 2019

After the hallway rotations, everybody gathers in the newly renovated Student Center, which held its grand re-opening on September 24. It allows for students to talk more with professionals that caught their eye, and it’s not uncommon for attendees to leave the event with a lead on an internship or a job offer.

“What I like about it is people discovering opportunities they didn’t know; it’s not a job fair,” Jensen said. “You’re going to go up to people you normally wouldn’t have met and you know, things happen. It’s kind of like matchmaking without design... it’s speed-dating for a job.” 

Story by Jack Martin, SJMC Student